Do I need a Child Arrangements Order - Focus on Fathers
If your relationship has broken down and you have had to move out or your partner has left with the children, a primary concern is likely to be when can I see my child?
As specialist family solicitors our first question to you is, have you tried to agree a pattern of contact directly with your ex? This is often possible once things have settled down and then leaves families free to parent their children as naturally as possible.
If you have tried to ask for contact and have been refused, often extra steps are needed to get things back on track and with a wealth of experience we can help you take this next step. Before any court application can be made, you will first need to try family mediation. After your first appointment with us and if you are ready, we will make the referral to mediation for you so you don't have to. If mediation helps the two of you work out a way forward, then nothing more will be required. Only if mediation fails we can apply to the court for a Child Arrangements Order for you.
The Children Act 1989 was updated in 2014 and now works on the basis that a child's welfare is paramount above all other considerations. The court makes a presumption of “parental involvement” and will presume that the involvement of both parents after separation is in the child's best interest. There is therefore an expectation that both parents will play a valuable role in their child's life.
In practice we look at how the child's time can be shared between the parents in a sensible workable way. This outlook attempts to reduce the uphill battle a father might otherwise have historically had. If parents can work together and should their working arrangements allow, then there is often no reason why the child's time cannot be share. If you are having difficulty seeing your child, why not arrange an appointment to come in and talk to one of our experienced family solicitors.
Written by Joanne Bennett